Icon of SS Raphael, Nicholas and Irene – S88


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This icon depicts the martyrs Priest Raphael, Deacon Nicholas, and the young child-Martyr Irene.  They suffered grievous torture and death at the hands of the Turks on the Island of Lesbos on Bright Tuesday, the second day after Pascha, or Easter, on April 9, 1463, just ten years after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453.  St. Raphael was a priest and the abbot of the Karyes Monastery near Thermi on the island, and St. Nicholas was his deacon who served with him.  St. Irene was just twelve years old, and the daughter of the mayor of Thermi.

The story of these three martyrs was unknown for almost 500 years until they began to reveal themselves to the islanders in dreams, asking them to search for their relics, and they found them right where they told them.  Because of the many miracles that they performed in the lives of the people in our times, the people built a church dedicated to them.  The saints themselves told the faithful about their sufferings and martyrdom, and their remarkable patience in such terrible tortures for their faith.  They are “newly-revealed” but great intercessors for all who call upon them for help.

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